Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Hanging in There by Staying Humble
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
Most people do too little in the Christian life, but some actually do too much. Occasionally, people will take on more responsibility than they can handle in order to prove that they are a good church member, but your motivation for serving the Lord shouldn’t be pride. When you do things for the right reasons, you will live a more balanced life and be more likely to stay in church long term.
For example, if you are only able to make it out soul-winning twice a month, don’t quit altogether just because the pastor preaches once-a-week soul winning. You will do more by being consistent in your routine than by constantly stopping and starting back up. Your circumstances may improve in the future, but the important thing is that you don’t quit just because you aren’t the superstar of the church.
Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not necessarily telling people to do less for the Lord. Some people might do well with a heavy workload, and I’m not telling those people to slow down. If you are feeling overwhelmed, though, you might need to pace yourself. Don’t worry that someone else is able to do more. The Bible teaches that it is unwise to compare ourselves with others.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
As Christians, we need to know how to run, but we also need to know how to walk. You are not always going to operate at peak performance. You have to be able to get through those low points. If you quit, you won’t be able to renew your strength. A holier-than-thou person might be tempted to run more to seek the praise of men, and then when they don’t get the recognition they crave, they drop out of the race completely.
The Bible mentions walking about twice as much as it mentions running. If running at full speed is all you ever do, you’re not going to make it in the Christian life. Christianity is measured in decades, not years. It’s an ultra-marathon as opposed to a sprint. Instead of trying to impress others by excelling in the short term, jog at a more sustainable pace or temporarily slow to a walk.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with PATIENCE the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1
I’ve been in church my entire life, and I’ve seen people fall victim to being “righteous over much.” People who get really excited about serving God for a short time often burn out quickly. My old pastor called this type of person a Roman Candle Christian.
“Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” Ecclesiastes 7:16
When you would rather throw in the towel than slow down, pride is often the culprit. Holier-than-thou types end up either being Roman candle Christians or complete phonies. The Bible teaches that God hates a holier-than-thou attitude.
“Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” Isaiah 65:5
Be patient. Keep showing up for church even if you don’t feel like it, and things will eventually get better. Don’t be guilty of this all-or-nothing mentality where you feel like you have to leave a church rather than slow down temporarily or step down from a position. Stay humble, and keep moving forward in the Christian life.
Here’s a sermon to go with this article.